Definitions for jack ketch
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word jack ketch
a public executioner
Origin: From Jack Ketch, the public executioner during the reigns of both Charles II of England and his brother James II.
a public executioner, or hangman
Origin: [Perh. fr. Jack, the proper name + Prov. E. ketch a hangman, fr. ketch, for catch to seize; but see the citations below.]
John Ketch, generally known as Jack Ketch, was an infamous English executioner employed by King Charles II. He became famous through the way he performed his duties during the tumults of the 1680s, when he was often mentioned in broadsheet accounts that circulated throughout the Kingdom of England. He is thought to have been appointed in 1663. He executed the death sentences against William Russell, Lord Russell, in Lincoln's Inn Fields on 21 July 1683, and James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, on 15 July 1685, after the Monmouth Rebellion. Ketch's notoriety stems from "his barbarity at the execution of Lord Russell, the Duke of Monmouth, and other political offenders." Because of his botched executions, the name "Jack Ketch" is used as a proverbial name for death, Satan, and executioner.
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